Monthly Archives: September 2010

Google Changes It’s SEO Guidelines

Google has released an updated form of it’s PDF that gives advice on best SEO practices. The biggest changes to the guide have been the inclusion of a glossary of terms, and advice for mobile devices. The guide has also been given a rewrite to make it easier to understand.

To see the new Google SEO guidlines click here.

Joaquin Phoenix fools Bloggers with ‘I’m Still Here’

Joaquin Phoenix famously appeared as a supporting actor in Gladiator, as Commodus, and as the lead in Walk the Line, playing Johnny Cash. Despite being Academy Award nominated for both roles, Joaquin decided to ditch his successful career in film to become an insular cringe worthy rapper.

This became apparent to the world when he announced it on the famous David Letterman Show, last year.

He came across as a jaded, washed up star, looking to escape the trappings of celebrity life. This was all indeed a hoax to rouse interest in a mocumentary, directed by Ben Affleck’s brother: Casey Affleck.

Although many people questioned the change in him as being real, he managed to get an extreme amount of free publicity online from bloggers and news sites. He was a trending topic on Twitter for a long while and left many people completely unsure if it was real or not. I unfortunately fell for the stunt myself as he kept it up for a year and a half. He became the subject of thousands of blog posts, probably the biggest celebrity break down in history.

Films continue to lead the way in getting bloggers to generate free publicity. You can see the film: I’m Still Here in UK cinemas now.

Jumo – A Social Network for Charities

Philanthropist Chris Hughes, who helped set up Facebook has given a press conference on his latest project: Jumo, a social networking website for charities and causes to market themselves online.

Jumo is apparently set to revolutionise how people interact with charities, although details are under wraps for now. Jumo is promised to be a site where you search for local or international causes to follow. Once you have followed them, you can receive updates and be invited to donate or offer voluntary services.

Being a website just for good causes, Jumo will help charities market themselves much easier online as they will stand out more. They will not get lost in a sea of other pages, such is the once-stop-shop of Facebook.

The high profile of Chris Hughes will attract the attention of the world’s media, and I am sure celebrities like Bono, Chris Martin and Bob Geldoff will jump on board to promote this charitable project.

I believe Jumo will be a landmark moment in social media as I am very surprised there is nothing like it online at the moment. Modular Internet Marketing will be a very close eye on this promising website.

Digg Selling it’s Community Out

Digg is the world renowned social bookmarking site, where you can find an article online and submit it to Digg to be read at any time. When you ‘Digg’ an article, you are in fact casting a vote for an article. What made Digg so different before is that it was the user community that chose which articles would be promoted, not an editor. The articles with the most Diggs would always get pride of place on the homepage.

What Digg v4 did to sell out it’s community is to let large commercial articles gain automatic placings on the homepage. The website is now just another commercial news site and former fans of Digg are moving onto similar services like Reddit to experience what the old Digg use to be like.This is an important marketing message to those who have a loyal fanbase.

Backlash Against ‘Edgy’ University Marketing Decisions

Drake University ‘D+’ Marketing

To set itself apart from other American Universities, Drake University in Iowa has decided to market itself as a ‘D+’ University. The D+ apparently represents the Drake University ‘plus’ advantage you would receive. All their direct marketing and their website display the rubbish school grade type. Many bloggers and former students have criticised the obvious devaluation of the institute its attempt to be edgy creates. At least all this attention has given the University much more attention.

Those who should be intelligent enough to grace a University campus shouldn’t fail in looking through the marketing. The marketing may of worked as they have had significantly increased interest from potential applicants over the previous year.

On a lighter note, in 2008 the American University in Washington decided to use the slogan ‘American Wonk’ to promote itself. It’s an American term used for overly studious nerds. Literally ‘Know’ spelt backwards. Commenters have made light of the term ‘wonk’, making similarities between it and a cartoon sound effect, or a sexual act.

All in all if you are a small institute with no reputation to speak of, creating something radical to get people talking about your University could be a good way to get attention, but I would advise against larger places with an already established reputation to go this route as they have more to lose than gain.

Finding Out the Most Popular Google Searches for Marketing Reasons

If your writing an article or engaging an online marketing campaign, you may want to to know what people are searching for. Here are the easiest ways to find out:

How to find out the most popular Google Searches Today


If you wanted to know what people were searching for at this moment in time you would need to go Google Trends. You find there a list of the most popular search terms at the moment. This informtation gets refreshed every hour. At the moment the most popular search term on is currently ‘tornado nyc’.

How to find out the fastest growing Google Searches in Popularity

Google Hot Topics are a list of the fastest growing topics of conversation over the Internet, which is a handy thing to have as you can then create content where there might not be any. For example I wrote an article targeting the keyphrase “MyView Marketing” yesterday after learning people were talking about YouView the TV internet streaming service. It has only just been announced within a few hours that service has a name change. If you are to search ‘YouView Marketing’ today, you will see this marketing blog on the first page. Hopefully it shall remain for some time.

A very important use of social media is to keep up to date with the latest trends, to predict and anticipate what people may want to search for. Google Trends can help you achieve that.

New Marketing Opportunities For YouView Internet TV

As I write this YouView is a hot trending topic on Google Trends. Formerly know as Project Canvas, YouView will become the natural successor to FreeView. It works by streaming Free TV through the Internet to a box connected to your TV. This is an initiative funded by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, TalkTalk, BT, Arqiva and Channel 5 and will come out early 2011.

A new feature of the device is the ability to go back and watch selected programs that appeared within a week ago or even some programs that can be skipped forward to in time. This is complimented by the use of Apple iPhone/iPad like ‘Apps’ that people will also be able to include on their TVs.

The openness will allow developers to create apps that can connect with social networks sites and blogs, providing a new potential marketing platform.

YouView Marketing for Content Providers

I look forward to using YouView to promote my film work through creating my own portal site. Once you make your YouView portal, you can make your content available through the main YouView guide. This could be a great way for brands to get their message across to viewers as this feature is claimed to be open to everyone. I look forward to seeing how it will all work.

YouView Marketing for Developers

Developers will be able to makes apps for the TV, connected to backend services like social networking, music and video services, search providers and so on. Online marketing and TV advertising will converge together, and new industries may get created. Details on how the apps will work exactly are still quite sketchy, but as soon as we know, we will be the first to blog about it.

The New Twitter Layout – Including Embedded Video

Twitter have announced a new version of it’s website that is currently being rolled out across the world over the next several weeks. The site will be widened to get extra content viewable, as you get to see extra feeds and more features too. This is to stop people having to having to go elsewhere for other information fixes. It will no doubt gain more popularity with all the new features, but hopefully it will not lose the simplicity it has over facebook.

New Twitter Layout

The new version now also includes the ability to use embedded video, which you can see when select a particular Tweet. This is a huge leap forward as you will now have more reason to spend time on Twitter. People will now be able to share more content with each other, whilst commenting on it. This now makes Twitter more attractive as a tool for me to promote my short films.

For some Facebook is too complicated and current Twitter is too basic. New Twitter will meet that middle ground and will no doubt become a much larger force in social media.

Using Facebook Places to Promote Your Business

Facebook places follows hot on the heels of Foursquare as a tool to let you say where you are on a map. Officially, Facebook Places only appears in North America at the moment, but it will be rolling out across the world very soon, including the UK.

Using a mobile phone application, you can “check-in” after searching for the location of where you are via GPS. This then let’s your friends know exactly where you are, so if they are in the area you can bump into them. Make sure to set it so only the people you trust can see where you are, unless you actually want to be burgled. You can be tagged by people at locations, but I suggest you turn it off. I have friends who would use it to keep tagging me at alternative lifestyle clubs as a joke.

Where your business comes into the equation with Places, is that you can register the location of it. You’ll need to open up the Facebook iPhone application or Facebook for touch devices on a compatible mobile and search to see if your place exists already. You can do this by searching for the place. If it doesn’t exist, you can quickly create it by clicking on “Add” or the “+” sign. You will them need to claim the place by clicking the “Is this your business?” link at the bottom of the place. Your phone number will be compared to by Facebook, which is easily changeable.

Once ownership is claimed you can converge your Page with the Place. People will then be able to see your shop, restaurant, or any other type of business if they are nearby. The clever part is you can send messages to people to promote your services if they have “checked-in”.

This all sounds like a great way to open up location based marketing, as it’s fun and captures the imagination. Be prepared for the privacy issues media backlash, but if used correctly, this functionality has huge potential, especially with other features on the horizon.

Google Instant Results Try to Read Your Mind

Day 3 in Google watch, and today they have introduced a new search feature called ‘Google Instant’. This is a search function that starts loading predictive search results to users who are logged into a Google account.

For example, if I were to simply just type the letter ‘f’ into the search field, it would have ‘facebook’ come up in light grey as you typed and the results for Facebook would start loading below my search. Google Instant results try to predict what you are searching for as you type. As what you type changes, Google changes what it serves you in real time. You don’t even have to hit ‘enter’ or click the search button to get results.

Not everyone has been encouragable about the new Instant Search feature. Many people have found the search engine trying to give you search term suggestions AND suggested search results is information overload. Google has been renowned for it’s simplicity over the years, and this change will be very hard to swallow for many people. One of the claimed benefits of predictive results are that you can save on average 2.5 seconds on each each search. Personally, I actually type by looking at my keyboard as I press each key. Unless I pause to look up the screen, the instant results will be lost on me. Many of the supplied results will also be irrelevant, which may also distract you, making you spend more time on your search.

The sheer volume of ‘anti-new Facebook’ groups joined by hundreds of thousands of people when the Facebook layout changed is evidence that people take time to adapt to change. Do you still hear people complaining? Nope. Once everyone gets used to something they usually forget why they complained about it in the first place. I don’t doubt that Google Instant results will be any different.

On another note, the Daily Mail Online reported on this same article earlier today thinking that Google Instant referred to the predicted search terms you get in the drop down menu. This has in fact been around for months and is nothing to do with today’s search engine result suggestions.

“Goggle has today announced new ‘Instant’ search results, introduced for users around the world.

Google searches will now predict what users are looking for from the very first letter they type.

Google’s homepage will then switch instantly to a drop-down menu of results that continually updates as the user adds more letters to their search term” – says Niall Firth in his poorly researched column.

This was also picked up upon by a commenter on the article:

“You have got this story completely wrong. Google instant return the search results, not the suggestions in the pull down. That has been in place for months. I wonder if Niall Firth actually uses Google” - Jaz, Chelmsford.

I believe when the dust settles people will get more than used to the new Google Instant feature. I don’t believe it will save much time in people’s searches. I also doubt people will use it very regularly, unless they are searching for a very common search term like ‘Twitter’. Its there for people to use, and can be turned of easily if you don’t like. Not the end of the world. You may use it from time to time. Up to you!